ADAMS -- The Adams Board of Health is considering banning the sale of tobacco in stores with pharmacies and restricting the sale of other tobacco-related products to minors.
The board was slated to finalize a draft of its proposals Wednesday, but its meeting was canceled. The board will vote on the regulations at its next workshop meeting. A date for that meeting will not be decided until Wednesday, Oct. 9.
The regulations would include a ban on the sale of tobacco at any retailer containing a pharmacy, such as the Big Y supermarket on Myrtle Street. Rite Aid is the only other retailer in Adams that would currently be impacted by the ban.
The board is also looking at requiring that buyers of e-cigarettes -- which provide nicotine without tobacco -- and other tobacco-related products be over the age of 18. This regulation would affect all retailers in Adams and include such items as rolling papers and pipes.
"There are so many new nicotine-containing products that are marketed toward young people," Board of Health Chair Patricia Clairmont said.
Since none of the three board of health members use tobacco, they were largely unaware of newer products, according to Clairmont.
But the board decided to act, Clairmont said, when they learned "a lot of these things ... contain material that would pull a teenager into [tobacco use]."
Lee, Lenox, and Stockbridge have all also banned the sale of tobacco in pharmacies. The city of Pittsfield banned the sale of tobacco in pharmacies in 2012.
Its regulation also included a ban in major retail stores that contain pharmacies, including Big Y, Walmart, and Stop and Shop.
Big Y did not voice significant opposition to the ban in Pittsfield. The store director of the Big Y in Adams was not available for comment Thursday.
"There really hasn't been a lot of opposition," to similar laws in the past, according to Clairmont.
The Massachusetts Medical Society, a physician's association, has pushed municipalities to enact pharmacy bans, saying in a statement that "it is a conflict of interest for pharmacies, providers of health care, to profit from the sale of harmful products."
The association is also against the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.
"[The] current widespread availability of e-cigarettes is especially troubling for youth, to whom the product is targeted," the group said in another statement.
Clairmont noted the difficulty of keeping regulations up-to-date with the newest tobacco-related products.
The board has been working on updating the town's smoking regulations for several months.
"It's something we've been thinking about for quite a while," Clairmont said.
Any draft regulations passed will be sent to town counsel for review, according to Board of Health Administrator Susan Foster.
After the draft regulations are finalized, the board will hold a public hearing. The board does expect to hear feedback from the community on the proposal, Clairmont said.
The board could also put new regulations on smoking in public places, but according to Clairmont, "that has not been decided yet."
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